They were warned

She’s the one  

 

The energy drainer, the no-filter-can’t-restrain-her, the perpetual blamer

She’s mastered the art of manipulation with more skills and a greater will

Than an athlete in the Sochi Olympics

 

She navigates people like a boat at top speed

Flying from wave to wave, through the water   

There’s no looking back, only forward

To the next wave

 

Those in her wake are left exhausted and confused

Only clear that she was the one

They were meant to avoid  

Tools better used

Fooled again, she cried aloud.
Her stomach was a whirling and churling pit.  She was sick with remorse.
She had misjudged yet another client.
Where was my gut instinct when I needed it? she wondered, left with a sickness in her soul.
She looked down with disgust at her two hands, poised on the keyboard, tools of destruction.

The Loneliest Moment

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I saw myself fall to my knees

at the same time, watching and falling

 

Snow melted and seeped

Through the thin threads separating my skin from the cold

I felt it, freezing and wet, and returned to my body

 

My heart fluttered and skipped like a bird trapped in a room 

It felt like wings beating against my ribs and chest

Desperate to escape and wild with panic 

 

I was blinded from the glare shining off the sea of white

With nowhere to rest my weary eyes    

I was forced to look up

 

Distant, unsympathetic, and glowing

The moon looked down at me

Alone on my knees in the snow 

Blogging on the Clock

It’s Friday afternoon.

I’m working hard at hardly working, as the maintenance man who comes through every so often encourages me to do with his upstanding example.  He passed through the cubicle farm earlier, with a hammer shoved though a loop in his pants and swinging an empty bucket.  His whistle carried through the thin cube walls and alerted me that a worry-free individual was approaching.  He gave me his usual wink and nod, indicating that we are players on the same team.  This was no time to start looking busy. 

I have a clear view through my supervisor’s office, because she is clearly not in the office on a Friday afternoon, to the outside.  Although I can only see the tips of leaf-barren trees, the sun is out and the sky is blue.  If I stare long enough, I’m sure a bird will pass by but I don’t have time for that.  Now I have to get back to looking busy because one of my hard working colleagues is approaching.  

Luckily, I have a gift; I can hear the difference between regular loafers, like myself, and the industrious employees who might not take kindly to my compromised work ethic.  The hard workers, like the one approaching, are noisier and easier to detect because they multi-task as they travel about the office.  This one always shuffles papers and wears heels that click and clack a notification of her approach.  However, on this fine day, she is wearing athletic pants that swish as she power walks through the office. 

The clock is ticking away the minutes towards my freedom.  I watch the green glowing numbers slowly change, like a prisoner counts down the years to his release.  My gift must be weakening because a slacker just snuck into my cubicle for a few last minute discussions about her weekend plans. I never heard her soft little bedazzled flats until it was too late and she was behind me, reviewing my “case notes.”

Do you have special talents that get you through the long work day?  Cheers to perfecting your gifts so you too can covertly blog instead of whatever you are supposed to do.  Really, what else is there to do on a Friday afternoon, other than catch up on my favorites and write a little post.

Signing off for the day and wishing all a great weekend spent working hard at hardly working.

Sometimes instead of working…

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Sometimes instead of working, I try to devise new inventions. 
 
Out of these hundreds of good ideas, it will just take one to take off to fund a life of leisure in the Florida Keys.  It doesn’t have to be a particularly brilliant idea.  No, this it just needs to be more useful and efficient than whatever thingamabob or doohickey already exists.  I’m thinking of Velcro, double sided tape, i-phone covers, cat-box deodorizers, and the reusable K-cup pod, for a few good, but not brilliant examples. 
 
The main problem with already invented inventions is that I’m not the inventor. To be honest, if I was the source of anything like the cake-in-a-jar or postcard app, it likely never would have left our apartment.  Like a diamond in the rough, it would have remained in a lined notebook, useless as a lump of coal in an energy efficient society.  Outlines and detailed explanations of how it might look and work would be left amidst scribbled poems and words to look up later.  Stains from a misplaced tea cup and dried droplets from a juicy apple eaten over the paper would be my inventor’s trademark by which I could identify my work.  Of course, I would need those identifiers in the event that the notebook ends up in the trash, a bum fishes it out of the dumpster, and goes from rags to riches with the outline of my invention. Not to worry, I’m sure the lucky dumpster diver would see the error in his plagiarizing ways and offer a fair share of his profits back to me.
 
I know I’m not alone in this fantasy of coming up with the next big thing.  It has a following like the Hoosier Lottery; you have to play to win and everyone wants to win.  I hear my friends and family frequently say, “If only I could have come up with that (insert the newest thing here), then I could go (insert awesome vacation/future retirement location here) or open my (insert imaginary business that will never happen here).”  These types of statement are not said out of jealousy or with bad intention towards the originator.  Rather, I think it comes from a place of regret and frustration at one’s self for not having had the insight or motivation to chase “it”, whatever it may be, down. 
 
There is one person I know who spends more time than I do at this abstract and intangible treasure hunt.  After being struck with inspiration, she called me last night to discuss her newest big idea.
“It’s like this place,” she began.  “Where people come together and they read something that I write and can leave comments.” 
 
It was sounding like something familiar, but I let her continue.
 
“I want to create this meeting place for people of like minds to come together to be inspired and to share their inspirations. I’m going to call it…..(dramatic pause)…. Inspired.”
 
It’s a blog, you are talking about a blog, I thought.
 
And then I kept thinking, this is how is all starts. 
 
It just takes one idea, a little luck and the motivation to do the necessary work to turn an idea into an invention good enough to pay for a life in the Keys.  It takes guts to be shot down, time to develop, and endurance to hang onto the vision.
 
Don’t worry B, we’ll get there soon enough.  In the meantime, I better get back to work.
 

Wishful Thinking

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As the snow continues to fall, I can’t help but to feel giddy at the prospect of a snow day. 

I have been alternating between peering out the window and checking my phone for a notification that my workplace is closed.  A snow day may mean two days worth of work on Thursday and a mess for the city workers to clean up, but it also means a day off in the middle of the week.  Unexpected and unplanned, a day to myself to read, write and maybe even build a snowwoman. 

Let’s see, a carrot for the nose, sticks for the arms, and my husband’s ratty old baseball cap for her otherwise bald head should complete her look. 

Any day to drink hot chocolate and sleep in, when I should be typing away in a grungy cubicle or gathering up paperwork for a home visit, is worth the hassle later in the week.

Please, declare a snow day, I beg of you, my generous non-profit employer-who-offers-few-other-benefits-aside-from-free-parking-and-coffee. It’s clear that the Universe wants us to take a break from our busy lives by delivering inch after inch of snow and not enough snow-plows to clear it. 

The Universe is sending a clear message, or really a cold and white one, to stay home for the day.

Why fight it?

Two Brown Boys: a psychic reading.

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The day was cold, of course, it was February in Indiana. 

“Whoa,” the woman said, as she tried to stop at an intersection. 

The brakes in her car were useless against four tires packed with ice and an untreated road.  She scanned the intersecting streets for danger.  No cars in any direction, she gratefully noted with the mildest sense of relief. 

Inside of her chest, her heart pounded and sent a rush of blood to her head.  The woman felt the hot life force pulsing in her temples and fill the vein that ran across her forehead. 

“Please stop,” she pleaded with her car, as she slid sideways towards the stop sign.  

Finally slowing to a stop, the woman opened her eyes.  She realized that she had squeezed them shut in preparation for an impact, as though not seeing it happen would make it hurt less. 

“Get it together,” she told herself, and continued to drive. 

The radio blasted the voice of Phil Collins as she firmly placed her gloved hands at ten and two on the wheel.  She resolved to be cautious, but was not deterred from her mission.

 

The woman sat across from the psychic on the edge of her chair.  They were separated by a glittering, sequin covered table.  The psychic straightened the shimmering cloth out, and explained, “It’s good for gathering energy.”

I’m not ready for this, the woman nervously thought.  Fears of becoming a psychic junkie crossed her mind, becoming desperate for answers and contact, willing to spend her last twenty dollars for just a few minutes.

What if too much of the past or future was revealed or it opened her to the darkness?     

She looked at the closed door and suddenly felt imprisoned in the small room.  A deep well of vulnerability lay just beneath the woman’s thin layer of skepticism and confidence.  She slid back in her chair, until her back was straight and her feet square on the ground.  The chair gave her a form; she sat erect and expressionless. 

The psychic curiously watched the small woman, contained and controlled.  She was amused at what could have compelled this stranger to sit at her table.  

The women carefully sized one another up. The psychic appeared scattered and free.  Her messy blonde hair was thrown up into a clip, leaving dark, brown roots exposed.  She crossed her legs at the ankles, showing maroon socks with leather sandals.  

“Before we get started, I must know your sign,” the psychic asked dramatically. 

The woman took a tiny sip of something from a paper cup she had been clutching, “Aries,” she spluttered, choking on her words and the liquid.  A second later, her inner skeptic broke through and she thought, Shouldn’t you know that already? 

“Yes, I could tell,” the psychic confirmed, as though reading the woman’s mind.

“An Aries, quite naturally.  You are very head strong and passionate.”  The psychic’s eyes were closed as she pressed both index fingers to her temples.    

“I’m seeing brown boys.  Two, little brown boys in your future,” she said, as she channeled her spirit guides from the cosmos.   

“Are you married?” the psychic asked as an afterthought. 

Duh, the woman thought as she turned the diamond ring and wedding band on her left hand, the woman replied, “Yes, I am, but he isn’t brown.”

“Doesn’t matter,” the psychic said, “they’re in your future.”  

The woman unconsciously leaned closer to the psychic. Her dark eyebrows furrowed in question as her brain worked to make sense of what the psychic just prophesied.

“Pick three,” the psychic said after she set a pile of tarot cards in front of the woman on the sparkling tabletop.

Compliant as usual, the woman drew three cards from the middle and placed them face down.

“Another two, now.”

With an inward roll of her eyes, the woman slid two more cards from the top of the deck and placed them face down, as well.  

The psychic flipped over the first card, “Ah, I see.  You must follow your heart.” 

She flipped over a second card and commented, “Very good, the creator, you will have no problems getting the brown boys.”

Then she flipped over a third card, and a dark shadow crossed her face. She flipped over the next card, and pursed her lips without saying a word. 

The psychic left the last card unturned on the table and held up the deck to the woman, “Go ahead, pick one more.” 

The woman pulled out one last card, as asked and flipped it over. “Death?” she asked, reading the name of the card.

“Nothing to worry about, it really means you will have a new start.  Just do what you want and enjoy yourself. Everything is just fine, nothing to worry about,” the psychic said and glanced at her watch. 

“Time’s up,” she announced. 

The psychic stood up and she placed her hand on the woman’s shoulder.  She looked deep into her brown eyes with real concern.

“Take care of yourself, ok.   This one’s on me.  Don’t worry about paying.”

“Thanks,” the woman gushed.  “Wow!  That really is great, I feel like a million bucks.  Nothing to worry about. Wow!  I guess the doctors don’t know everything, huh.”

The woman walked out and the psychic watched with sadness in her eyes and thought, No, they certainly don’t know everything. 

Demon clients

Piece by piece

they tear chunks from her soul

with uncontrolled delight

Finding her vulnerable

they use two hands and ten clawed fingers 

to shred her patience and peace

When there is nothing left

but an empty shell and dead eyes

a mindless drone typing in a dark cubicle 

They will leave to find

someone fresh and optimistic

filled with purpose and drive 

A new Case Manager